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Who is Haley Carter? Texas town's 4th of July parade marshal quits over threats after 'gun-grabber' jibe

Conservative radio host Jesse Kelly called Carter 'a gun grabber who is into drag and trans activism'
Haley Carter gets bashed after being announced as grand marshal  (City of Friendswood Parks & Recreation/ Facebook)
Haley Carter gets bashed after being announced as grand marshal (City of Friendswood Parks & Recreation/ Facebook)

Amidst the celebration of Independence Day, a Texas town's choice of grand marshal, Haley Carter, has been threatened over the Fourth of July parade as a conservative Houston radio-show host targeted her online with a Twitter post featuring a photo of her son.

On June 22, the City of Friendswood Parks & Recreation announced on Facebook that Haley Carter, whose decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, would be the grand marshal for the town’s famed Fourth of July parade, which was reshared by City of Friendswood - Government on the same day. The post read, “We are proud and excited to announce Friendswood graduate, Haley Carter as this year's Grand Marshal for the 4th of July parade. She is a former US Marine officer and retired professional women’s soccer player. She competed in NCAA Div I soccer at the US Naval Academy and graduated with honors in 2006. After earning her commission, she served nearly eight years as a Marine Corps Logistics Officer, making two combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Between deployments, she competed for the U.S. All-Armed Forces Women’s Soccer team in the Council for International Military Sports World Championships in Ede, Netherlands in 2008 and Cherbourg, France in 2010. Haley was Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Female Athlete of the Year and finalist for Marine Corps Female Athlete of the Year in 2010.”


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It further mentioned Haley's professional background, who is a Lifetime Girl Scout  and serves as an Executive Board Member for both the Asherah Foundation and the US Naval Academy TxGC Foundation. The post read, "Following Active Duty, Haley spent three seasons as a Goalkeeper for the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). In her final professional season, she was the first ever women’s player recognized with the FIFPro World Players’ Union Merit Award. Now retired from professional play, she has served as the Assistant Coach for the Afghanistan Women’s National Football Team and most recently, as the Goalkeeper Coach for the Antigua and Barbuda Women’s National Team. In addition to her degree from the Naval Academy, Carter owns an MBA with Distinction from the University of Liverpool and a Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center."


'Carter is a gun grabber'

Conservative radio host Jesse Kelly tweeted that Friendswood had appointed a “gun-grabber” who is “into drag” and “trans activism” to lead the parade. The host, who is from Ohio and ran a failed congressional campaign in Arizona, said, "Communists are in blood red areas too. Friendswood, TX is a blood red city. They just chose Haley Carter to be Grand Marshal of the July 4th Parade. She’s a gun-grabber. She’s into drag. She’s into trans activism. 281-996-3220 is the number for Friendswood Parks. Let them know."


Selected grand marshal resigns

Just two days after she was announced as grand marshal, the 38-year-old Carter officially stepped down from the role. After this move, Mayor Sylvester Turner backed her, who appointed Carter to the city of Houston’s Commission Against Gun Violence. Turner in support of Carter, released a statement which said, "Haley Carter is an American hero. She has served in the Navy, was deployed overseas as a Marine to Afghanistan, is a retired professional goalkeeper for the Houston Dash, and is an accomplished professional with an MBA and a law degree. She is a role model, especially for young women. Simply put, Haley is the best of us. It is no wonder that her hometown of Friendswood chose to honor her in their Fourth of July parade. Haley embodies everything the uniquely American holiday represents. Freedom. Independence. Love of country. In other words, the perfect Fourth of July grand marshal. Unfortunately, some have threatened violence against Haley and her family because of her strength, her belief in equality, and her leadership in trying to reduce gun violence here in Houston."

Mayor Sylvester Turner in talks with Haley Carter (City of Houston, Office of Mayor)